World first project to Reduce Urban Glow

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reducing urban glow light sensor
Mayor Jack Dempsey with one of the newly installed light sensor poles for the Reducing Urban Glow project

The Bundaberg Region is set to become a world-leader in turtle protection with poles being erected along the coastline for the Reducing Urban Glow project light sensors.

Work for the installation of the light sensor poles started in Burnett Heads this week.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was wonderful to see the physical side of the project underway.

“Council has been working with a range of stakeholders for many years on strategies to reduce our urban glow,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“It’s rewarding to see work underway on this tangible outcome for the project.

“Our goal is to see the entire community working together to reduce urban glow.

“It’s great to see the Bundaberg Region undertaking this world first project that will protect our iconic turtles.”

Reducing Urban Glow technical consultant Andrew Fulton has been coordinating the deployment of the light sensors, which are called sky quality meters.

“On each pole there is a sky quality meter and that measures the amount of light coming vertically downwards from the sky,” Mr Fulton said.

“That light’s combined of both starlight and reflected light that’s manmade.

“Also on those poles is an infrared sensor and that’s there because the amount of reflected light coming down is greatly affected by cloud cover.

“So we know that that cloud will be impacting on that data that the sky quality meter is picking up.”

Reducing Urban Glow light sensors largest known project

Mr Fulton said the main glow being monitored was caused by street lights, park lights and lights visible from houses and commercial buildings.

Pendoley Environment has been engaged to provide the light sensors with extensive experience in Australia and New Zealand.

“We have 50 sky quality meters that will be located from North Innes Park through to Burnett Heads.

“To my knowledge the sky quality monitoring has not been done on such a scale as this.

“And that’s a bit of a first.”

When the sky quality meters are operational a live heat map will be made available on Council’s website which residents can access to understand the magnitude of urban glow.

Mr Fulton said the next stage for Reducing Urban Glow would involve projects to improve lighting by reducing the amount of light both directly visible form turtle nesting beaches and as a result of urban sky glow.

The Bundaberg Regional Council project has been supported by the Australian Government under the Smart Cities and Suburbs program.

Project partners include Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Ergon Energy, Burnett Mary Regional Group, Central Queensland University, The Prince’s Trust Australia and Greenfleet, Bundaberg Tourism and Sea Turtle Alliance.

For more information head to Council's website.

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